Jon’s brother in-law Nick was invited to take part in the latest Tweet Tasting from The Whisky Wire so we thought we’d get him to pen some words for our blog. Here’s his notes in what we hope will be the first of many guest blog posts from Nick:
Nick writes “I was fortunate enough to get in on Steve Rush’s Jura Tweet Tasting recently. It was as good a tasting evening as you could hope to attend without having to step outside the front door. Steve had selected a strong line-up of tasters, including a number of whisky bloggers, so I felt honoured to be in in on this one.
In order, we tasted the Jura 10yr old, Superstition , 16yo, 21yo and Prophecy (higher peating) bottlings.
Jura 10yo provided an excellent benchmark for the range, with strong citrus aromas (pink grapefruit) and pine wood coming through. One tweet recalled walking through a pine forest, the pine scent was that hefty. Some mild spice (nutmeg) and heather came through as well. The palate was sweeter, with vanilla and buttery tones coming to the fore (I was reminded of Butterkist popcorn). As expected in this Island malt, there was some salt along with the sweetness, but also a hint of dark chocolate and a hot spicy finish (white pepper) .
The widely distributed Jura Superstition is a vatting of 10yo and 21yo, so I am informed. In contrast to the 10yo, the nose was immediately more sherried, with dry fruits and a slight nuttiness. There was a little more peat evident in this second dram, and this combining with more of the pine from the 10yo transported me straight back to toasting marshmallows over a campfire. The palate was full and a real pleasure, combining the salt again, with more honey and nuttiness. One cultured tweeter likened this to Rosh Hashanah Honey Cakes. While I’ve never tasted those, it definitely reminded me of Baklava– which combines these similar middle-eastern flavours, with almost a rose water/ Turkish Delight edge. The sweetie shop palate continued, with Chocolate Orange and also Wine Gums. The white pepper finish was again there, but seemed a little short this time.
The Jura 16yo was quite a bit different. I was hit by esters off the bat, almost with nail varnish intensity, but with a pleasant stewed apricot and overripe banana colouring on re-nosing. I found this a tougher whisky to nose, almost a bit closed. Others found more softwood sap than definate pine with the 16yo, and it had a maltiness to it, more reminiscent of beer than cereal. On the palate again dry fruits and honey came through, but the finish was a bit cloying, savoury akin to sage.
The big hitter of the night was the 21yo, 200th Anniversary Edition – if you can find it (and stump up £100), you’re on to a real winner! Bottled at 44%, this has been matured in Oloroso Sherry Casks, with sumptuous toffee, summer fruits, figs, a marzipan nuttiness and unlit cigar all vying for attention on the nose. The palate was a revelation, with grassy notes and spearmint, then demerera sugar and pineapple upside down cake (a family favourite). Tasty oak spice combined with the sugary fruit to create mango chutney flavours. There was also a pleasing “lactic” note. I was introduced to this by Rod Graham who likened it to sour milk. There was a hint of this in other whiskies on the night, and it was a satisfying tasting note to pick up, and quite pleasant too.
Jura Prophecy was saved until last as its higher peating would have overpowered the outstanding 21yo if the order had been reversed. This was a superb dram in a similar style to it’s neighbours across the Sound of Islay, apparently from old and rare Jura casks. On the nose, lemon zest came through, with creamy milk, before the bonfire smoke hits home. With a slight savoury edge, this reminded me of smoked bacon. The palate delivered salt and flowery peat. Again the lactic note came through, along with orchard fruit and barbecued ribs (to continue the meaty theme). This was a hugely enjoyable dram. At ~£50 a bottle I suspect many peatheads will stick to their Islay staples, but for those prepared to push the boat out this is an excellent and full flavoured malt.”